Miami (May 18, 2018) – The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis’ Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, and the Miami-Dade Police Department announce that as the result of their collaborative investigation, Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr., owner of the public adjuster company “Nationwide Adjusters LLC”, has pled guilty in Circuit Court to Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Organized Scheme to Defraud, over 28 counts of Arson as well as multiple counts of Insurance Fraud and Grand Theft.
Espinosa was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Mark Blumstein to 20 years in state prison in addition to paying $1.9 million towards restitution.
Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr. was one of many defendants originally charged in a series of investigations called Operation Flames and Flood I and Operation Flames and Flood II. Espinosa intentionally set multiple homes on fire as well as caused water damage to other homes with the sole purpose of filing false and fraudulent insurance claims. The homeowners were recruited by Espinosa as part of his Arson for Hire Scheme involving homes in Miami-Dade, Lee and Collier County. Over 14 Insurance carriers were impacted by the more than 50 false claims costing insurance companies and insurance policy holders over $14 million dollars in losses.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated: “The insurance fraud ring that Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr. led gave a sense of professionalism and expertise to the age-old crime of theft. Insurance policy holders were Espinosa’s real victims. This is a wonderful result for the hard-working prosecutors, police and fire investigators who put this complex case together and worked it to the proper ending.”
Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis stated: “I applaud the work of all the local and statewide law enforcement partners who played a role in the dismantling of this fraud ring and especially the Office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for her commitment to ensuring insurance fraud criminals are held accountable for their actions. Our message is simple: if you commit insurance fraud in Florida, be prepared to face swift action from our law enforcement units.”
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